It's that time of year, when we specifically think about giving thanks.
In less than a week, we will be (if we aren't already) surrounded by Christmas carols, store sales and the hustle and bustle of the approaching Christmas season. Yet, in this week, before the season of Advent begins, we have time to pause and give thanks.
I am so thankful for a wonderful weekend. My parents came down from Connecticut to surprise my sister as she ran the Philadelphia marathon. They arrived on Friday evening and we enjoyed making dinner in the new kitchen, talking and just catching up.
Saturday I ran a little with my mom, and she and dad ran a bit on their own. (At that point I was struggling with a cold, and if the daily meds couldn't get rid of it I was hoping to run it out of my system! Alas, that did not work.)
Saturday afternoon I had the pleasure of swapping ornaments and enjoying a late afternoon tea with some of the ladies at Trinity. Such wonderful fellowship as we gathered around the table to talk and to laugh.
Saturday evening I was able to worship with my family. Billy, mom, dad and I worshiped together and enjoyed some fellowship at church before heading home for a family dinner.
We were up super early on Sunday to make it into Philadelphia before they closed the roads around the race route at 6am. We made it to the race start to meet up with my sister pre-race. I also ran into Darrell and his kids before the start. Isn't that a wild thing? Thousands of runners and spectators and I run into folks from Trinity! Crazy, but wonderful. I was able to look for and spot Allison a few times during the race. Fun times!
Post-race....the whole family went to a funky Irish restaurant in Philadelphia for dinner. As we gathered around that tiny table, we were together....celebrating family and marathon runners...giving thanks for that opportunity to all be together for that brief moment in time. Who knows when we will gather together again. Mom and dad hope to come down for Christmas, but my sister will be with her husband's family up in New Hampshire. And that's the way family works. There are times and places that we are blessed to be together and other times when we are apart. But for those times we are together, I give thanks to God, for safe travels, for the opportunity for each of us to have time off, for the gift of time to be together.
As this Thanksgiving draws near, I am thankful to God for so many things. For safe travels throughout the year. For my family at Trinity who has welcomed me in and continues to support and nurture me. For the opportunity for my family to see my joy and happiness. For the opportunity to run 13.1 miles with my mom. For the opportunity to meet someone special and share many fun times together. For the opportunity to be apart of the ministry that God is so busy with at Trinity. For the opportunities for new and wonderful things in the coming year.
For what do you give thanks?
Take time to pause this Thanksgiving...around the table....with friends and family...to give thanks to God for all the blessings that have been bestowed upon you. They are bountiful. They are wonderful. May we all continue to be blessed by God in the coming years....